I did two “nights out” last week. I turned up at my usual time but there was a delay with some of the products (several 5 foot headboards) which actually had to be made before they could be put on the lorry. The delay was ridiculous and the manager kept appearing and commenting “are you still here? What you waiting for?” then he would disappear as if he was going to kick some ass only for the wait to drag on.
I finally got away and managed six deliveries of mattresses, headboards and divan bases. I delivered to B&B’s, hotels, houses and a convent in areas such as Ware, Welwyn, Hitchin, Milton Keynes and
Bedford. This took me up to 6pm and it was time to find a place to park up and sleep.Being new to this night out malarkey I was none the wiser as to where best to go. I knew all the motorways had services so from Bedford I flew down the A421 to the Newport Pagnell Services. On my arrival I could see it was already rammed, in fact, there wasn’t one space. Nothing for it but to go north on the M1 to the next one.
Northampton services looked full but I could see a few spaces here and there so managed to get in between a fully loaded car transporter and an Eddie Stobarts truck. I was in no rush to walk across the
car park to pay for the nights parking so decided to organise my bunk with a sheet, a pillow and my brand new sleeping bag (£10 at Tesco). I’d also been shopping with the missus the night before and bought myself a stove, a kettle, a cooler box and filled it with “stuff to eat”.It felt like a home from home in my cozy truck and once I’d pulled the curtains round I was in my own little world. I got my tablet out and tethered it to my iPhone and was able to watch an episode of The X Files (I’ve started watching the whole lot of them from the beginning on Amazon Prime). At around 8pm I strolled over to WH Smiths to pay for the nights parking. £25 without or £27 with a food voucher. I’d already eaten but decided to go for the one with voucher and I would start collecting them. I’d also learned that the company prefer you to park the truck safe (or safer) at night and are happy for you to enjoy a meal on them. How many drivers can say that about who they work for?
I slept well that night and pulled out of the car park at 7.10am heading for Leicester to deliver those headboards I’d had to wait for. I followed my satnav and actually drove straight past where I had to be, got flustered and called the place up. A Chinese woman answered and asked me how I could of missed it. When I managed to find a place to turn and got back to the hotel I asked myself the same question. Satnav alone isn’t always the answer. I’ve been finding out that a bit of research is often quite helpful. Google and Google Maps more often than not has most business premises listed...as I said earlier I’m still learning.
I did eventually get them on and set off for the long drive back to Ipswich. It was an uneventful drive but I did have to stop in a layby for a 45 break so out came the stove and I made myself a nice cuppa as the passing lorries rocked me from side to side. I pulled into the car park at the bed factory just as the work force were knocking off for the night but the manager came out to greet me and to tell me what a great job I was doing (which is always nice when you’re shown some appreciation) and that he’d see me tomorrow.
I was going to write about the next night out which took me right up to Lockerbie in Scotland but I’ll post it later on.
Take care out there and keep them doors locked.